Aug 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

National Governors Association leaders express concern over Trump's unemployment order

Trump in front of the White House logo

President Trump at a press briefing on Aug. 10. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's executive action calling on states to provide 25% of an additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits poses "significant administrative burdens and costs," according to a bipartisan letter from the leaders of the National Governors Association.

Why it matters: Many states have had their budgets decimated by the coronavirus pandemic and cannot afford pitching in an $100 extra per unemployed resident. Several state unemployment offices told Axios that they don't even know how the program works, and that any changes to state unemployment systems would take weeks to implement.

What they're saying: "We appreciate the White House’s proposals to provide additional solutions to address economic challenges; however, we are concerned about the significant administrative burdens and costs this latest action would place on the states," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said in a letter released Monday.

  • "NGA has requested $500 billion in unrestricted state aid and NGA continues to urge Congress and the White House to reach a quick resolution to provide immediate assistance to unemployed Americans."

The big picture: Trump signed a series of executive memos related to coronavirus relief on Saturday after negotiations with Congress broke down. The primary sticking point in stimulus talks remains Democrats' demands for extra funding for state and local governments, which Republicans have dismissed as a "bailout" for years of poorly-run state budgets.

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